(The following content is from an email I sent to a relative about the Arduino. They have a college-age student who we might be interested in this.)
The programmable electronics kit I showed you is named "Arduino". Here's the main URL: arduino.cc
Here are links to some fun Arduino projects:
Here are links to many, many more Arduino projects:
The yellow box I showed you is the "Arduino Starter's Kit", which I bought for $100.
The cool things about the Arduino are (a) the parts aren't too expensive, (b) you get to do both the hardware and software, and (c) there's a huge community of people developing stuff with it, and sharing what they learn. If you can think of things you want to do, and you have the time, you can probably create it.